From that wonderful day of “instant fatherhood” – as any first-time dad will tell you – everything changes ... absolutely everything. More than just learning how to change diapers, bathe, feed, stop the crying, and put the baby to sleep, new dads also learn a lot about themselves. We may discover untapped reserves of maturity in a new, more selfless lifestyle. But these new concerns such as financial frugality, dependability, setting a good example, sleepless nights, sensitivity, patience, and fears of the future, are all eclipsed by the deep inner joy new fathers feel. For me it felt like leaving the shallow waters of boyhood and learning to stay afloat in the depths of fatherhood.
I guess I’m still growing up along with my son. Often it’s me who needs some good strong fathering. But I need something more than just getting the best fatherly advice from friends and relatives. I need a father who is instantly available, truly reliable, always right, and will never disappoint.
So I turn to Christ Jesus’ example when he so often referred to and appealed to God as his Father, and the Father of us all – as in the opening line of the Lord’s Prayer: “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” And he preceded that prayer with these words: “Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.”
Truly, God is our Father, our ever-present Parent who will meet our every need because we are “precious in [His] sight” (Isaiah 43:4). This is not just some spiritual ideal or religious metaphor, but a practical, palpable relationship that we can draw upon as a basis for our own parenting. As we trust in God’s care for our children’s needs as well as our own, we gain good parenting skills and qualities such as strength, insight, creativity, discipline, patience, and wisdom.
God’s love and care for us is strong and lasting, like our love for our children. It’s a permanent bond of love within each of us. Learning of God’s tender fathering and mothering qualities brings them into our family relationships. It replaces fear with a tender trust that we can always turn to our Father to learn how to “train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6).
Building that relationship with God can take some effort. Like connecting with a human parent, we may need to make the first move, and to humble our will, and quiet our preconceptions in order to be open and listening for God’s wisdom. But I’ve found that every effort at drawing closer to God reveals that He is always with us to encourage, calm, and strengthen us at a moment’s notice. As we learn to turn to God for whatever we need, we gain the best parental support system there is.
After Ytzaak arrived, Eddie who was three took a shy stroll into our lives and never looked back. We adoptem him and then 17 months later our youngest son Yosev decided to enter the lives of the Quintana’s. Now more than ever I look to God the Father for wisdom and guidance. I look to Him for my role model so I can be a good daddy to my three sons. I encourage you to do the same thing!
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Bruce Howell on Feb 1, 2001
The story is told (by Ernest Hemingway) of a father and his teenage son who had a relationship that had become strained to the point of breaking. Finally the son ran away from home. His father, however, began a journey in search of his rebellious son. Finally, in Madrid, in a last desperate ...read more
Some Good Advice PRO
Contributed by Sermoncentral on Jun 9, 2002
SOME GOOD ADVICE I am still waiting for my father to talk to me about sex and success, money and marriage, religion and raising kids. Since he died in 1991, I guess I don’t have much chance of ever benefiting from all of the lessons he learned in life. It’s not that he was a bad dad; he was ...read more
Contributed by Tom Doubt on Jul 15, 2003
WE THOUGHT YOU SAID... The kids had talked Mom into getting a hamster They promised to take care of their pet, whom they named “Danny.” Within two months, though, Mom was taking care of Danny. One day Mom decided enough was enough; Danny would be given to a new owner. She called the ...read more
Contributed by Sermoncentral on Jan 5, 2006
Abilene Christian University researchers, Dr. David Lewis and Dr. Carley Dodd have recently concluded a cross-generational study (six different tests) to measure fathers’ positive and negative influences upon teens’ spirituality. The found that "every time" dad’s role "as teacher came out be the ...read more
Contributed by Rick Crandall on Jul 16, 2008
WHY DOES GOD ALLOW HARDSHIP? We live in a mixed-up, messed-up world. Sometimes terrible things happen that don't make any sense at all, and we wonder why? Steven Curtis Chapman is one of the best known singer-songwriters of contemporary Christian music. Over the last 15 or 20 years his songs ...read more